How John Wick changed action movies and no one noticed
Style, grace and elegance aren't terms usually associated with action movies. It's a genre awash with high-octane explosions, brutality and bloodshed, but they aren't often presented with any particularly memorable degree of cinematic skill. Like a black swan somersaulting into a pond of ugly ducklings, 2014's John Wick changed all that with stylishly brutal élan. The Keanu Reeves-led revenge thriller — boldly beginning with the murder of Wick's beloved puppy — is of course still violent, but this is violence captured in a way rarely seen before.
Cold, calculated and effortlessly efficient, Reeves' performance as the titular hitman was a commercial hit, earning roughly four times its budget. John Wick: Chapter 2 expanded on its predecessor's financial success, earning $171.5 million while earning another round of positive reviews for the budding franchise, proving "Baba Yaga" was far from a one-shot wonder. Quite the opposite — John Wick's sharp-suited and sharp-shooting arrival changed action movies forever, including in a few ways no one seemed to notice. Here's how John Wick rewrote the rules for the modern action genre.